It's funny how different people react to a parent's decision to make child nurturing her/his number one "work." Not that anyone should be judged on that decision, but it does come up in conversation sometimes.
Many people define themselves with the title they are given at a particular institution. It is easier to say "I'm an Applications Scientist at Company X" than "I am the Lead Director of Household X, Developer of Children's Programs, Psychologist, Primary Care Provider on call everyday and night, Head Chef, Manager of Housekeeping, Director of Social Relations, Event Planner, Head of Transportation, Inter and Intra-personal Relations, CoChair of Finance, Music and Visual Arts Director, Athletic Coach, Charity Organizer."
Moms and Dads who are at home with your children, these are all the titles you earn. You do not need a paycheck to define who you are. Keep your head up, even when there are days you question your choices. If your spouse were to hire all of these people, you would be in serious debt! And I always say, at the end of your life, you are not going to think about how you "lost" 5-7 years of your full-time work life getting to know your children.
Having said all this, I do know that some parents have no choice, but to work full-time outside the home. Trophies to all the single parents out there! I have no idea how you do it. I am very lucky to have this choice and thankful for my supportive husband.
For those thinking of transitioning back into more "outside work," you can click on the "Children, Career, Life" labels to view more entries.